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General Chinese (Beginner Level)

eChineselearning provides a huge number of Chinese resources for Chinese language learners. The materials in this section are designed to teach Chinese to non-native Chinese learners of various skill levels. These basic Chinese language materials are edited by eChineselearning's professional teaching staff. And best of all, they are totally FREE! If you are interested in learning Chinese, the basic Chinese language resources in this section will be of a great use to you!

(The picture source:
Here is the second part of the popular ”十二生肖 (shí’èrshēngxiào): Chinese Zodiac” series that you all have been patiently waiting for. If your animal wasn’t included in the last installment, you are sure to find it below. In the last zodiac article, we discovered all 12 of the animals while going into ...

People have been interested in their fortune and explanations of their personalities since the beginning of civilization. Even if you don’t believe in it, it’s fun when your friend reads your weekly horoscope. In China, there are 12 zodiac animals and they are:
1. 鼠 (Shǔ): Mouse

2. 牛 (Niú): Ox ...

Chinese grammar is famously simple. However, some grammatical aspects are still difficult for my Mandarin Chinese students. In this lesson, I will help you understand one of these tricky aspects that you are likely to see on tests such as the HSK. What’s so difficult about the particle “了 (le)”?
I often need to spend extra ...

Just like with English, Mandarin has evolved a lot since the use of the internet. We have a lot of slang words whose meanings started as something and ended up as something entirely different because of the way it’s used in messaging and online. One of my favorite words like this is “卖萌 (màiméng).”
Let’s break ...

If you want to evolve your spoken Chinese beyond baby talk, it is necessary to be able to improve how you express your thoughts. One way to do this is to use “因果关系 (yīnguǒ guānxì) cause and effect relation.” Let’s explore more commonly associated words to use when describing various situations.
1. 因为 (Yīnwèi)…所以 (suǒyǐ)…


Key Learning Points (Preview):

国庆节 (Guóqìng jié) n. National Day

黄金周 (Huángjīn zhōu) n. golden week


爬山 (Páshān) v. mountain hiking

阅兵仪式 (Yuèbīng yíshì) n. the military parade

October first is "国庆节 (Guóqìng jié) National Day" in China, and commemorates the establishment of present-day China. "节 (jié)" means "festival;" " 国庆 (guóqìng)" is short for ...

Vocabulary plays an important role in learning new languages and Chinese is no exception. Of course, attending a regular course is essential but it may not be enough. Everybody has a different learning style, as well. Here are 6 smart ways to quickly improve your Chinese vocabulary based on your learning style.
1. 阅读 (Yuèdú) Reading


Red Cliff is the site of the most famous military feat in Chinese history – Battle of Red Cliff, but the phrase refers to the first film to re-create the 208 A.D. Battle.
However, the functional script has dismantled much of the original story’s dramatic intricacies and character complexities, and then reassembled it into three-act structure ...

Mandarin Chinese does not have a simple and easy way to say “no.” A Chinese student will have to become familiar with the various negative meanings of “不 (bù) not” and “没 (méi) none” to indicate refusal, denial, disappointment and not having something.
As a Mandarin Chinese teacher, there are certain questions that come up time ...

Going to the hospital can be unpleasant. Not knowing how to communicate your illness makes it that much worse! Make sure you know these Chinese phrases to convey your problems properly. It might just save your life.
Get familiar with the following dialogue to learn how to get diagnosed for the flu and get prepared for ...

In English we have a saying, “Get off your high horse!” It means someone is being prideful and we want them to take their pride down a notch, or just act more humble. The cool thing is that in Chinese we have a similar phrase, although it has a few different meanings from the one ...

Can you imagine that your eye has an apple in it? And, can you imagine that this same apple in your eye represents a person you are extremely fond of? Well, sometimes expressions are a bit hard to understand, just like “the apple of my eye.” In Mandarin Chinese, that person, the dear apple, that ...

Every culture has their own wedding traditions. In the USA it’s not uncommon for the bride to wear something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue. Similarly, in China there are superstitious and ritualistic practices unique to each region’s culture. Instead of blue, for example, it’s common to use 红色(hóngsè) red for the happy ...

In English the word “thing” is quite vague and can imply animate and inanimate objects as well as concepts and general life transactions. For example if I were to say, “The thing is, that thing I was thinking about made me drop the thing.” It covers, well… a lot of things. Thankfully, in Chinese “thing” ...

Ice cream is a popular dessert loved the world over. Many of my students assume that ice cream is a dessert that is imported from the West. That is NOT true!
Actually, ice cream originated in China. Millenniums ago, emperors stored iced drinks in cellars, to keep them safe from the summer heat, and would drink ...

Since the Beijing Olympics of 2008, there has been a large increase in the amount of foreign travelers coming into China. In recent years, with China’s economic and cultural rise, more and more people are choosing to come to China for travel, work and study. Just as Chinese people are traveling abroad in record numbers, ...

Let’s face it: The Internet has changed everything. And, “everything” includes Mandarin Chinese language learning! Years ago, the classroom and textbooks were the only resources available to begin learning Chinese. However, with recent online resources emerging, learning Mandarin Chinese is easier and more accessible than ever. Chinese language learners can now take online lessons, learn ...

When talking about language, people often instantly assume that when you say “Chinese” you mean “Mandarin.” This is because “Mandarin Chinese” is the standard language of China, the world’s #1 spoken language (in terms of native speakers), and the most common language to learn right now for foreign learners of Chinese. However, “Chinese” doesn’t necessarily only ...

Since 1930, football (or “soccer”) fans around the world have gathered to watch the “FIFA World Cup” every four years. The 2018 World Cup is being held for the first time in Russia. While there are no major changes to the rules of the game, there are some ways that technology is changing the way ...

What’s the trendiest thing you can think of? Add a cat and you’ve got a recipe for success. Cats are taking over everything from cafes to the Internet and it doesn’t look like it’s slowing down anytime soon. Let’s take a look at China’s cat culture and why this beloved animal is trending.
Recently, China has ...

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